By Kevin Eickman
Last year was a dream season for the Delaware District I Big League Softball team. The squad, made up of a preponderance of Milford girls, earned their way to the Little League World Series. Eventually earning the World Series title, defeating Delaware District III 1-0 in the championship game. As District I punched their ticket to Roxanna by winning the East Regional in Worcester MA, this year the squad will try and do it again, with seven returning players.
The East Regional tournament is a huge test for any team. Along with Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Maryland are represented there. The talented competition is beyond tough according to coach Ron Fry, who has managed in the tournament at both the Senior and Big League levels. “When you go up against a group of teams like this, there is no such thing as an easy game,” Fry stated. “They are all quality teams and are very competitive.”
It all starts on the mound, where Shaina Reed returns to lead the District I staff. The Milford resident who is a recent graduate of Polytech, just led that squad to DIAA championship this year. Having a talented and experienced pitcher such as Reed is a huge boost for District I. “Shaina is a very talented and experienced pitcher, she is very special,” Fry said. “No matter how big the moment seems to get, it never seems to bother her.”
One of the aspects of the team that Fry believes will work in the favor of District I is the depth of the squad. “If you take a look at how we are made up, we are two deep at almost every position,” said Fry. “We have players that are very talented in the field and at the plate. The level of talent makes this a very tough team to beat.”
Speaking with returning player Cassetty Howerin, she indicated that she is very excited about the upcoming regional tournament. “It’s a great experience to go up against such talented teams, it’s a real honor,” said Howerin. “We are all really looking forward to heading up there and giving it everything we have.” Playing catcher on the team, Howerin is very confident that the District I team can do what needs to be done to win. “We have a great group of players who really enjoy playing together, that’s a huge plus when you get into challenging situations,” said Howerin.
Going up to Worcester, Howerin knows that District I will have a bulls eye on their back. “We are used to it, we know that teams are going to be gunning for us,” Howerin stated. “The way we play ball, the way we know the game, it makes us a tough team to beat, so this year teams want to beat us.” When asked what it will take for District I to repeat in the region, Howerin was quick to respond. “It is about us playing up to the level we are capable of. It is up to us to play as well as we can so that we can get back to Roxana.”
The roster for District I is as follows:
Cassetty Howerin (returner) Darby Brennan
Shaina Reed (returner) Alison Sanders
Haylee Scruggs (returner) Katelyn Byler
Kasey Fry (returner) Brittany Baker
Megan Fry (returner) Faith Garey
Harley Rickards (returner) Kerrigan Simpson
Whitney DeMora (returner) Kailey Perry